Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Japanese earthquake and tsunami
New York, 14 March 2011 – As the world unites in support for the people of Japan, we at UNICEF express our heartfelt sympathy for the tragic loss of life following the massive earthquake and tsunami. This double catastrophe has left the country and its friends stunned and bereaved, and new threats caused by the quake and its aftermath continue to be of utmost concern to us all.
As in all emergencies of such devastating magnitude, children are the most vulnerable. Working in close cooperation with the Japan Committee for UNICEF, we have offered our support to protect the children affected by this catastrophe and to provide critical services in the days ahead.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan, one of the world's most generous nations. We stand ready to assist them as they have helped so many others, in these, their days of greatest need.
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UNICEF is on the ground in over 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.